Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell–Derived Macrophages for Unraveling Human Macrophage Biology

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Despite a substantial appreciation for the critical role of macrophages in cardiometabolic diseases, understanding of human macrophage biology has been hampered by the lack of reliable and scalable models for cellular and genetic studies. Human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)–derived macrophages (IPSDM), as an unlimited source of subject genotype-specific cells, will undoubtedly play an important role in advancing our understanding of the role of macrophages in human diseases. In this review, we summarize current literature in the differentiation and characterization of IPSDM at phenotypic, functional, and transcriptomic levels. We emphasize the progress in differentiating iPSC to tissue resident macrophages, and in understanding the ontogeny of in vitro differentiated IPSDM that resembles primitive hematopoiesis, rather than adult definitive hematopoiesis. We review the application of IPSDM in modeling both Mendelian genetic disorders and host–pathogen interactions. Finally, we highlighted the potential areas of research using IPSDM in functional validation of coronary artery disease loci in genome-wide association studies, functional genomic analyses, drug testing, and cell therapeutics in cardiovascular diseases.

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